After a winter that seemed like it would never end, the warm days of summer are just around the corner. Especially after the winter we just had, everyone feels the need to make the most out of the nice weather while it’s here…but that doesn’t mean you break your budget. We’ve outlined three simple things you can do to not only get the most out of your summer, but to also get the most bang for your buck out of your summer vacation.
Do Your Research
Compare and contrast as many details as possible to save big on your vacation. With so many resources available to us, the trick is knowing what “deals” to avoid (and when to avoid them) to ensure that you get the best possible value for your vacation.
“Be flexible,” says AAA spokeswoman Heather Hunter. “If you don’t have your heart set on one particular place, you can look at different destinations to see what can be most affordable.
“Sometimes, leaving a day before or a day after your original itinerary can provide cost-saving opportunities,” Hunter says.
Having this flexibility in your schedule can greatly impact the cost of hotel rates and airfare. If you have flexibility, it’s best to adjust your vacation to different days and see how that affects the total cost. There are many travel websites available that can help you determine the best schedule and destination for your price range.
Take Advantage of Discounts
From gas stations and restaurants to hotels and airlines, you can always find additional savings for your vacation through loyalty programs and promotional codes.
Here at ECU we offer the “Points for Perks” program which allows members to save up points by making purchases that can then be redeemed for things such as restaurant gift certificates and airline tickets.
Think Past Hotels
For lodging during your vacation, thinking beyond hotels can save you a bundle.
An independent study conducted by HomeAway Inc., compares five key pricing factors of renting a vacation home versus a hotel; and of the five factors (price, square footage, meals, laundry, and “extras”) the clear advantage always fell to the vacation home.
“From kitchen space that cuts dining-out dollars to free internet access, many vacation rental properties deliver added value and added space, especially for families,” says Alexis de Belloy, HomeAway’s vice president for North America.
“When you’re in a hotel room with children and family, you have to get out to entertain them,” de Belloy says. “When you’re in a vacation rental, there are typically quite a few entertainment options on the property.”